Local authority budgets are under significant pressure and there was no relief following the announcement of the funding settlement for Local Government on 19th December 2012. A new finance system, based on the localisation of Business Rates comes into operation in 2013. All councillors need to understand how the finance system works so that they can play their role effectively. Executive councillors have to develop and implement the budget; councillors on scrutiny committees should be reviewing the budget process and financial planning, and every councillor needs to involve their residents in the political choices that have to be made about budgets and council tax. If you are going to make a difference as a councillor it is crucial that you understand finance and are confident about the role you should play in the financial affairs of the council.
This workshop focuses on local government finance from the national and local perspective, including strategies to minimise the impact on local authority services and jobs. Delivery methods will include power point presentations, group exercises and question and answer sessions.
09:30 Registration and refreshments
10:00 Welcome and Introduction
10:10 Context – what are the issues facing local government
10:40 Back to basics: how the system works
11:50 What is the role of elected members
13:25 Local government finance in a new landscape: the impact of the government’s review of local government finance.
14:05 Budgeting for tough times: what strategies should councils use?
14:50 Final comments